In a reference to the character, his son-in-law described the man, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity, as “a fantastic father.”
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A woman whose father raped and abused her as a child while convincing her that he was trying to protect her, recounted how she was first harassed when she was just seven years old.
The 62-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity, has repeatedly abused her for more than 16 years, and most of the crimes took place in the family home in the city of Dublin.
The man pleaded guilty before Dublin Central Criminal Court to rape, oral rape, indecent assault, sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault for a period of almost 16 years.
The nine-count convictions were sample counts of 54 charges.
The man’s lawyers told the court his wife and other children were by his side. In a reference to the character, his son-in-law described the man as “a fantastic father,” the Irish Mirror reported.
A police detective told Fiona Murphy SC, who was prosecuting, that the complainant went to the police in July 2016 and described the extent of the abuse she suffered.
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She described playing with her Barbie dolls before her father came to her and sexually assaulted her while masturbating.
She said she was seven when her father first raped her orally.
He used a dictaphone to record the audio of the assaults and told him that he would later edit the recordings to make it sound more like he had been enjoying them.
When he was 18, he forced her to undress and pose for sexually explicit photos that she told him she would use for an art project. He showed her the pictures and she said she was disgusted to look at them.
The girl was 12 years old when her little sister was born. At that time, the abuse got worse, as his father lost his job and was at home caring for the child while his mother worked at night.
He began raping her up to four times a week, often recording these assaults using the dictaphone, according to the court.
During a family vacation he raped her orally, when she was 15 years old.
Ms. Murphy described an incident in which the man used an electric sander to sexually assault the child. In another, he wrapped a telephone cord around her neck and she tried to scream as it hurt.
The woman described to Gardai that her father often called her for playing with her friends and she said she always knew it was to mistreat her.
She said her father told her that all her friends “had a special relationship with her father” and that they were also being abused, and told her not to tell them about it. She said she thought she was doing what she was doing to protect her because that’s what parents should do.
John Fitzgerald SC, advocating, said the man’s wife and other children were next to him. He delivered a number of character references, including one that described him as “a fantastic father.”
He said he accepted that these statements were difficult to reconcile with the evidence of offending. He said his client’s childhood was characterized by domestic violence and sexual abuse abroad.
“Seeing from an abusive cold environment, he seemed to be in a position to provide support to the woman and other children, with the obvious exception of his daughter. His support remains available to him,” the lawyer said.
He said that after the abuse came to light, his client went to counseling and his family described that this makes a difference. A forensic psychological report placed him at a very low risk of recidivism while pointing to a limit to his understanding of his offense.
“He had difficulty recognizing the scope and frequency of the abuses. He accepts that he has poor vision and has expressed a desire to understand better,” Fitzgerald said.
He asked Judge Paul McDermott to consider a “history of vulnerability and emotional isolation and detachment.”
The court learned that the woman is going through a very difficult time at this time and that she was unable to go to court and analyze the evidence. In an impact statement from the victim, read in court, she said she was mentally, emotionally and physically tortured by her abuser.
She said she was supposed to value him as a human being, but that he used her.
“They made me feel ashamed,” he said. She said she could not understand how her family could accept her actions.
The court learned that when in 2013 she sent a text to her mother about the abuse, her mother replied, “I can’t believe that happened. I love you so much and fully support you.”
Murphy told the court that this “was the scope of the support” that was given to him.
Judge McDermott adjourned the sentence to November 23.